Parent and Student FAQ

Welcome to Camden Middle School!

Q: What are the general “Help” phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. for the Middle School, Transportation Dept.?

A: Main Office (245-0080/0082)
Attendance (245-0080, Ext. 106)
Counseling (245-1249)
Nurse’s Office (245-4098) Mrs. Nikki Gerber
Cafeteria Directors (245-1687) Ms. Holly Ackerman
Transportation (245-0878) Mr. Ed Snow


Q: Does CMS have an active Parent Group? How can I find out more?

A: Yes! The CMS Parent Advisory Group (PAG) meets each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m. For more information, please call our PAG Contact person Mrs. Mary Walker (CMS Principal) 245-0080. Please consider joining our group as a means to offer advice and provide input to us.


Q: Student locker issues: “Can I get stuffed into one?”

A: No. This has not been a problem. Actually, most lockers are too narrow to even squeeze into. All sixth-graders (students only) are invited to a WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) morning in August to begin the orientation process: welcome, introduction and overview of our WEB Program, which will include instruction & practice opening hall lockers.


Q: What if I get lost in the building?

A: Simply ask another student or any CMS staff person.
We are happy to help. There are also signs posted throughout the building indicating the room numbers in each hallway.


Q: What if I am late for Class?

A: If you stay after class to talk with a teacher, ask that teacher to issue you a pass to your next class. If you plan to stop at your locker in between classes and think that you will be late as a result or if you need to use a restroom, go to your next class first and ask that teacher for permission. This way you won’t be “missing” when attendance is checked or if there is an emergency (fire drill or someone is trying to contact you).


Q: Are backpacks allowed in CMS?

A: Yes. Previously, only the smaller nylon backpacks were allowed. Though easier to manage carrying in the hallways and fitting in lockers, they ripped too easily. So, beginning again in 2013-2014, regular backpacks ARE allowed, as long as they do NOT have frames and/or wheels and can fit into lockers.


Q: Can I take the bus shuttle to the high school if I want to?

A: Yes, but only with written permission. For permission to change your usual bus assignment or to walk to a friend’s house after school (instead of riding home on your bus), you must submit a note from your parent or guardian to the Main Office before school authorizing this change in an after school plan.


Q: How will I know my bus “number” or “letter” and where it lines up beside the school?

A: Your teachers will review the bus line up with you the first few days of school. Further, you may ask in the Main Office in the middle school and several staff members will be out by the busses with bus line-up lists to assist you.


Q: How can I call home if I need to call home?

A: Although students are not permitted to use cell phones in the middle school, you may use the telephone in the Main Office either before school or during your lunch period to call home and if it is an “emergency”, you certainly can call from the Main Office at any time.


Q: What if I want to stay after to get help on my homework?

A: We have an “extra-help” activity period from 2:25-3:05 p.m. and there is school transportation available at 3:10 p.m.


Q: Are Student Planners required and available?

A: Yes. Planners are provided cost-free to every student. Then, all you need to do is take the little bit of time, regularly, to write down your assignments to help you keep track of them. Your teachers will show you how to use your Planner and then will be checking that you are. Staying organized is a skill and habit you will need “not just for school but for life” (CMS Motto). You will also use your Planner to sign in and out of classrooms to go the Restroom. If you lose your planner, you may purchase another one at the School Store for a small fee.


Q: How long do we have between classes?

A: Three minutes. If you “go with the flow” and walk at the same speed as everyone else, you will be fine. If you are having problems getting to class on time, talk with your teachers. They will help you plan locker stops that fit into your schedule.


Q: What is special about “inclusion” classes?

A: Students with special education needs get extra instructional help in “inclusion” classes. These classes provide instruction from two “co-teachers,” a regular subject teacher from each of the four core academic areas - Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science, and a second teacher, who for the most part, is a Special Education teacher. We are careful in balancing students in these two types of classes (regular and inclusion) by considering ability levels, special education needs, and resources. As a result, these two types of classes are equal in their levels of academic challenge. Both types provide high caliber instruction and by matching resources to meet student needs, both maintain high expectations for all students.


Q: What is the new “Common Core” Curriculum and how can I help my child?

A: The new “Common Core” curriculum challenges students to master fewer topics, but to truly understand them more thoroughly. For more information, go to www.ENGAGENY.ORG. (This New York State Education website provides a lot of useful information to parents about the “Common Core”. Click on Parent & Family Resources at the top, right side of the website.)


Q: How long is lunch?

A: Lunch is a 40-minute period. When weather permits, students may go outside for about 20 minutes (to play “four-square,” basketball, or just talk with friends). Sometimes when the weather is inclement, students will have access to a gymnasium for a portion of the 40 minute lunch period.


Q: Why are the entrance doors, except the front door, locked during the school day?

A: Two reasons: to maintain safety and better help visitors by directing them through the Main Office where they can receive guidance and assistance.


Q: Do you have any advice for signing students in and out of the building?

A: Yes. During most of the school day, signing in and out is not usually a problem. However, if you plan to sign your son or daughter out of school in the afternoon, be advised that school buses will be arriving at the middle school at 2:11 p.m. Consequently, if you attempt to retrieve your child between 2:11 – 2:25 p.m., you are likely to be delayed if you try to park near the building.


Q: Although we may have been in the middle school for some functions here, what advice do you have for us, as this will be our first year of classes in the middle school?

A: Always remember, we are here to help you. Most of the time there will be no problems, but everybody has difficulties some times, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! We believe in you! You will make new friends, learn many new things, and continue to develop your mind, your body, and your character!

CMS Where Everybody Belongs”